Stronger Every Day

I hope that this Blog will make you laugh, cry, and pray. I am not any stronger by my own power. I am not stronger by my own experiences. I am stronger every day that I lean on Jesus, My Savior, My Strength, My Friend.

10 December 2010

Aprons Again

I am thinking about making some simple aprons to go along with some of my "Goodies in a Jar" that I am making for my family for Christmas. I was thinking about printing this poem on some cool paper to include, too! What do you think? I am very open to suggestions!

The History of 'APRONS' I don't think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few.
It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and... aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.. And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...

03 December 2010

Have an extra Christmas Card?

Well, I was scrolling down my facebook this morning, and I noticed that two of my non-military friends have this posted as their status this morning:

When filling out Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address:
A Recovering American Soldier      
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center,      
6900 Georgia Avenue NW,      
Washington DC 20307-5001.
If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get.

This is great... if the cards actually gets to the soldiers. I thought that they had discontinued the "Any Soldier" programs? I am sending one, just in case, but before I try to rally the troops, could someone that might know more than I do about this please comment?


29 November 2010

Origami Homemade Advent Calendar Pattern

Origami Homemade Advent Calendar Pattern
We couldn't find our Advent calendar when we unpacked all the Christmas stuff, so Agnes and I are making our own thanks to the instructions on this blog.
Pictures soon!

26 November 2010

Homemade Facial Mask Recipes

Homemade Facial Mask Recipes
I have been looking for some stuff to try to make for Christmas presents, and I came across this site. Pretty cool Stuff!

Homemade Facial Mask Recipes

Homemade Facial Mask Recipes
I have been looking for some stuff to try to make for Christmas presents, and I came across this site. Pretty cool Stuff!

16 November 2010


Well, I have been trying to figure out what to do for Christmas cards this year. has a nice deal on photo cards, and I am looking at quite a few designs, but my favorite so far is "Count Your Blessings." I love getting photo cards, and I thought they would be more expensive, but with the shipping special, the ones from Shutterfly are not any more expensive than getting store bought cards.
I will let you know what I decide...

Facebook more grandparent-friendly with ‘email’

Facebook more grandparent-friendly with ‘email’
This is a great article. Agnes posts everything on FB, and if her grandparents remember to check it... they know & can see pictures of what is going on in her life!

CurrClicl Give-Away

I am a big e-book user in my homeschool! I have currently become an affiliate for CurrClick. They had this great give-away on their blog!
This week is National Game and Puzzle Week, what a great idea for a week-long event, huh!
Games are a wonderful way to spend a fun and interactive evening with your family. A standard weekly “game night” is a great way to connect with your loved ones and simply have a blast together. Do you have family board game nights? Family Wii games that you like to play? We’d love to see a list of all your favorite games, whether they are board games, puzzles, video games, logic games like chess or Sudoku. My family is always on the lookout for new games to try, so I for one would love to read your ideas!
We have some great giveaways for this week! Everyone who leaves a comment or submits a blog entry will be entered.
**PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOUR PROFILE CONTAINS OR THAT YOU INCLUDE AN EMAIL ADDRESS. Unfortunately we have had to skip over several names that were drawn because we were unable to locate an email address. **
(If you are reading this on Facebook, be sure to leave a comment on the actual post.) This giveaway will be open until 10:00pm EST Friday, November 19th. Please see our rules for more details.
Prizes include:
Happy Scribe Copybook: Video Games by Westvon Publishing
Each copybook has twenty sayings, presented in three different common handwriting fonts: Classic Block Printing, D’Nealian Italic and Cursive. We have based these exercises on twenty day blocks, representing four weeks of five days, for one month of exercises. This copybook contains sayings such as: Sony makes the PlayStation 3; The Wii has motion sensing capabilities; Midway introduces Space Invaders to arcades; Nintendo released the Nintendo DS in 2004.
Treasure Hunts by Enrichment4You
This enrichment guide is designed to give you plenty of creative ideas for developing a themed based treasure hunt with varying mental and physical challenges. Treasure hunts are a fun way to introduce or reinforce a new idea, teach about different subjects and help the participants interact, brainstorm, problem solve and more. Includes the following: A Brief Overview of Treasure Hunts, Creating the Treasure Hunt Map, Developing the Theme, Treasure Hunt Scenario’s, Mystery Guests & Simple Props, and much more.
100 Thematic Word Search Puzzles Junior by Full Blast Productions
A reproducible ESL/Literacy textbook of 100 word search puzzles. Each puzzle is based on a theme. Each puzzle has ten words to be studied. There is an illustration for each vocabulary word. There is a space for your esl student to practice writing the words on it. The other has all the vocabulary words hidden in a grid full of letters. There is a complete Answer Key.
TWO winners will receive Creative Review Games by Toytown Treasures
Do you review? Whether you are an unschooler, use a complete curriculum, or mix and match, every student can benefit from doing review. The inexpensive, easy to create games found in Creative Review Games will give your student an enjoyable time of learning. You’ll find ideas for review, instructions for creating questions, and directions to play games. Reproducible templates and patterns are included in this e-book.
Be sure to share this blog hop & giveaway with your friends! Feel free to copy any of the text from this post!

02 November 2010

Homeschool Stuff

 I got this e-mail from my IDEA Field Rep. 
Hope it helps some of the Fairbanks/ North Pole area homeschoolers!

 Homeschool Co-Op

November Homeschool Co-op Meeting

Tuesday, November 9th, 1-3 pm

We meet at Valley of Blessing Church on the corner of Airport and Market (3007 Airport Way).

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving, practicing Christmas carols to go caroling at the Pioneer Home in December, and sharing what Thanksgiving means to each of us.  Come for crafts, snacks, games, and new friends!

We hope you can join us!  All homeschoolers are welcome!

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Amy Temple at or Joyce Plummer at by Monday, 11/8. 

The Region F listserv is provided to promote homeschool-related communication between IDEA families. The content is provided by families and other interested parties.  Posting by IDEA does not imply IDEA endorsement or recommendation.  Activities mentioned are not sponsored by IDEA, however are open to all homeschoolers.  To have your message forwarded to the list, simply address it to   Write to the same address to be removed from this list. Thank you!  

13 October 2010

PWOC- Protestant Women of the Chapel

 PWOC is an acronym for Protestant Women of the Chapel. I linked the PWOC International sight here if you want the official explanation of what it is. What I want to tell you in this blog entry is what PWOC has been to me.

 I am a hermit by nature. Don't get me wrong... I like to socialize, and I love to talk, but I thoroughly enjoy staying at home and just spending time homeschooling and being a housewife. It takes a lot to get me to leave my nice, warm, safe house ESPECIALLY during the dark, cold, harsh Alaska winters!

I started going to go to PWOC when Darren deployed the last time. I needed to be in a Bible Study, and I didn't know where to look. We were attending Chapel at Northern Lights, on Fort Wainwright, and all these women were talking about these really neat Bible Studies on Thursday mornings. I decided to get my butt out of bed and drag my daughter to this thing... All I could think was, "Wow, these women must either be morning people, or they must seriously love these Bible studies to do this every week!"

So I spent my first year in Alaska going to PWOC on Thursday mornings, and I grew stronger in my faith because of the fellowship I experienced with the women there. BUT I am not going to say that I got along with EVERYONE, and I am not saying all the women there treated me like a Christian woman should treat someone. There were certainly personality conflicts that first year, and the year that followed.

The next year I volunteered to monitor the Homeschool room. It was supposed to be for a few weeks... just until someone else came to take over. I was told that I should go ahead and start a Bible study because I would not have to be there every week. That "someone else" never showed. I felt abandoned by these women. I was left without any fellowship, except for the kids. Darren was still gone, and I was so self centered, I couldn't see that God was trying to get me to use my gifts for His purpose. It wasn't that no one wanted to spend time in the homeschool room. It wasn't that the other women didn't care about me starving for fellowship. It wasn't that the homeschool room was such a horrible place to be. I was just fighting God. I wanted to be the kind of woman I saw instead of the kind of woman He wanted me to be.

I spent a lot, A LOT of time in prayer about why God was letting these Christian woman treat me like this before I got the answer that it wasn't them. It was me. 

I was trying to be a "Beth," or a "Jenny," or a "Katie," but I wasn't being "Bridgit." I am blessed to think like a child, and I love learning and getting kids excited about learning. God was trying to get me to use that gift to teach these children. God wanted me to be the woman that gets excited about making slime to teach about polymers, and floating needles in pie pans to teach about magnets, and stuffing cotton balls in glasses of water to show how God designed EVERYTHING in this world to show us how AWEsome He is!

This year, I am monitoring the Homeschool Room, again, and we are doing Bible Science. We are going to be learning about salt, light, the body, astronomy, and a lot of other cool subjects! God is AWEsome, and He proves it again all the time in this wonderful world He created! 

I would invite any military spouse to check out your local PWOC, especially if you have had a bad experience the last time. Remember, the ladies there are always changing. The PCS seasons send some women away to other posts, and brings in new faces around the beginning of the school year, and again around Christmas. Even if the woman or women that hurt you are still there, maybe this is your opportunity to pray and find out what lesson God really needs you to learn. Maybe you are being asked to grow or use a gift you didn't realize was just what someone at your local PWOC needed. Maybe you need a gift that one woman at PWOC is trying to use. Or maybe, just maybe, God just needs you to NOT be that woman that hurt you for another woman who is hurting.

I have the time & place of the Ft. Wainwright PWOC on my Google Calendar
I would love for you to stop by and say, "Hello," if you decide to try out our PWOC. 
You can find me in the Homeschool Room.

02 October 2010

These are just some flyers and forms I made for the PWOC Homeschool Room.

Posted by Picasa

24 September 2010

23 September 2010

Attending College in High School!

This is an article I found from a Swagbucks search. I think I will need to re-read it over and over. It lists the benifits of taking college classes in high school. AAAARRRGGHH! Is Agnes in HIGH SCHOOL! And thinking about COLLEGE!!!

Attending College in High School!

20 September 2010

Subject: Speech by High School Principal to students

I got this in an e-mail from my father. I wish I had this principal.

To the students and faculty of our high school:

I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.

I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships.

The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.

If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-, race- and non-American nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America , one of its three central values -- e pluribus unum, "from many, one." And this school will be guided by America 's values.

This includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness.

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with the self -- while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interesting in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America 's citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other languages here -- it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English -- but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning's elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's property -- whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can't speak without using the f-word, you can't speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as "Nigger," even when used by one black student to address another black, or "bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way -- the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue. There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an American.

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.

19 September 2010

Still Editing the Travel Log.

I have posted a lot of our pictures on Facebook, but I am still working on the "Maiden Voyage" travel log.
We are very grateful for all those that prayed for our safe travels. Thank you!
Tomorrow we will be starting back to our regular homeschool schedule, so I will be busy at home most of this week.
I hope you will all enjoy the log.
More soon~

08 September 2010

Knowledgebase - Green Valley Aromatherapy

Knowledgebase - Green Valley Aromatherapy
This is a great Essential Oil necessity kit! These oils are the first ones everyone needs to learn about when starting off with Essential Oils.

17 August 2010

The Names of God

I was in an on-line Bible Study last year about the Names of God. It took me a little longer to go through it than the rest of the group, but it was a very good study.
I am now going to be following this blog/devotional.

11 August 2010

PWOC Picnic Thursday

I would like to share this with my Fairbanks area, military family friends. PWOC stands for Protestant Women of the Chapel, but if you are a military spouse, you don't have to attend the post chapel to attend the Bible studies and have fellowship with a bunch of wonderful Christian women.

Please consider the invitation below.

Hello PWOC friends,

You are all invited to attend our end-of-the-summer/back-to-school PWOC Picnic at Pioneer Park on Thursday, August 12 from 9:30-11:30 am. We will meet for fun, food and fellowship. We will even get a sneak peak at the bible studies offered in the fall!! PWOC will provide hamburgers, hot-dogs and drinks. Please bring a side, salad or dessert to share. We will be in the pavilion right in the middle of the playgrounds. Kids are encouraged and feel free to bring a neighbor who might be interested in checking out PWOC.

The women on your PWOC board are so excited about this coming year and what God is going to do through our group. I know you will be excited too as you begin to glimpse God at work in our group and around Fort Wainwright.

Shine in His light,

Katie Payne


08 August 2010

WARNING! Long Emotional Spew!

OK, I am goin' out on a limb here. I am going to bare my soul. I am going to be transparent... any bad cliche I am forgetting? If you do not want to read this long post, I understand. I am venting for therapy. Turn back now if you don't want to get involved.

I have been getting more and more depressed lately. I have battled depression for as long as I remember. I have looked to many people to help. I have looked for many ways to escape. I used to drink a lot. I used to exercise to escape. I have tried natural remedies. I have been medicated. Praying has helped.

I was deep in this last bout this morning. I was looking back at all my battlefields. I was so far in the pit and I was looking at all the people in my life over all the years that have turned away when I was reaching for their hand. If you know me, you may feel like this poem is about you. It may be. There are so many situations that replay in my mind. The characters in them are different in each stage of my life, but I keep allowing the same things to bother me.

I do need to say that I have superb friends and family. My parents are great, but I was not a great daughter. My husband is wonderful, but I am not a wonderful wife. My daughter is terrific, but I am not a terrific mom. My friends are super, but I am not always a super friend.

For those of you that have not ever experienced true, life-long depression, you may not understand the intensity of the emotion. It skews your perspective. We all talk about people that seem to be affected by someone looking at them “the wrong way.” When you are dealing with a true depressed person, everything is “the wrong way.” The words that you mean to show love only show criticism. The loving act you do only seems like you don’t think they can do it for themselves. There is nothing anyone can do for a truly depressed person except pray for them.

Many of you that know me are probably saying, “But she’s always so happy…” and need to remember that I was a Theater major for a reason. It is easy to hide unpleasantness behind a mask for a short period of time.

Anyway, this morning I felt the need to write it out. I remember Mrs. Stokes, one of my high school English teachers commenting on the poetry I turned in one year for the literary magazine. I actually pictured myself standing at her desk in the second classroom on the left, coming from the guidance office. She was asking me why her students only wrote poetry when they were sad. I don’t remember what I told her, but I remember showing her the 5-subject notebook I had filled with my thoughts. There were pages of emotions; most of them really depressed emotions. I was reaching out, and she was more concerned that my poetry would depress someone else. (Yes, she is one of the many people in this poem.) But if I could answer her question today, I would tell her that the reason for some of us is to put the extreme emotions in some kind of order. They are so overwhelming and they don’t make any sense.

Writing is one way to process them. It is a way to bring them into focus. When you are depressed, you get very isolated, you get very drawn in, and you don’t want to share. When you are very happy, you want to be with others, you express yourself, and you want everyone else to share your joy. But when you share your dark places, sometimes you find others that have survived the battle. Sometimes they see it for what it is. Sometimes when you force the chaos you are fighting into words, you start to feel the joy of victory. When you can make sense of the carnage, you can start to clean it up and deal with it properly. I do write when I am happy, but not as much. I do write when my life feels like it is in order, but when it is already orderly, I do not feel the need to make sense of it. It already makes sense.

So here it is… my re-living many depressions... my trying to put it in order… my attempt to slay these dragons from my past that are trying to burn down what I have built up in the present.

I Have Been Depressed

You have been with me all my life.

You are family.

You are friend.

You are here in town.

You are half way around the world.

You are all the people I reach out to for help.

You are everyone I look to for encouragement.

I feel this sadness like an actual physical weight, pressing in on me from every side.

It is the spinning in my head…

the ringing in my ears…

the spots before my eyes…

the lump in my throat…

the rock in my stomach…

the emptiness in my heart.

Oh how I want to escape!

Not in a bottle

Not in a needle

Not in a pill

I want to be held and protected.

I want to be told, “It will be alright.”

I want to feel comforted.

Your words are not comforting; they sting and slap and prick at me.

You are supposed to be my teacher and friend.

You are not loving.

You are mad and cruel.

You are just a phone call away, but you are too busy when I call.

You ‘like’ everything on-line, but you ‘dislike’ everything about me in person.

You ask me, “What’s wrong?” and then tell me you don’t have time to listen.

I try to do things to make you happy, but they are the wrong things.

You tell me how to do it better.

They are not enough.

You tell me to do more.

Instead of showing me love and kindness and intimacy

you show me anger and cruelty and pull further away.

You show tenderness to everyone else, but when I ask for your tenderness

you make sure I know it is a hard thing for you to do.

I ask for advice.

You just do it for me.

I probably wouldn’t do it right anyway.

I ask for companionship.

You tell me to get out of the house more.

I don’t measure up to your companions.

I tell you how I feel.

You tell me I am too emotional.

My feelings aren’t worth validating

I find something that makes me feel worth something again.

You tell me it distracts me from what is important.

My self-worth is not important.

I am not important.

My feelings are worthless.

I am not worthy.

What do I want from you?

I want your prayers.

When was the last time you really prayed for me?

I want your ear.

Do you really hear what I say?

I want your teaching.

Are you teaching me to fish, or just giving me one?

I want your affection.

Do you remember my “language”?

I know this darkness.

It has visited many times.

It will go away no matter how you treat it.

It always does, even though it seems to be hanging on with long, barbed talons.

It cannot hold on forever.

I will fight it and I will not be alone.

I have faith.

My Savior will send an army of angels to help me defeat the darkness.

Yes, He is reaching out to me.

I can see His hand… but I cannot quite reach it.

Why can I not use my lifeline?

Why can I not just have the faith to let this darkness fall away?

Is it my PRIDE?

I think I can do it alone.


Your opinion matters more than you know.

Is it my DOUBT?

I should have more faith.

I will pray.

I will pray for my PRIDE.

I can do nothing without God!

I will pray for my NEEDINESS.

God will take care of all of my needs, if I let Him.

I will pray for my DOUBT.

I will find reassurance in His Word.

I will see the Light

I will lift my hands in praise

I will bow down in worship

And the darkness WILL fall away.

August 8, 2010

22 June 2010

Mission Trip Devotional

I am starting late, but if any ladies want to join me in this devotional I am going to be doing this between 9am and 10am the next 4 days... until the boys are home. I will be catching up on the days I missed by doing those lessons in the evening between 9pm and 10pm.Post any comments, prayers, revelations, etc.

Here is the website for the 7 Day Mission Devotional:

20 June 2010

The Diet Detective: Hydration Basics |

The Diet Detective: Hydration Basics
We have a real problem with staying hydrated in our family of coffee addicts. This is a great article to remind us to stay hydrated.

23 April 2010

What do Military Wives do to deserve to get paid?

What do Military Wives do to deserve to get paid? If you are honestly married to your husband because you love him, and you are honestly a good, faithful wife, then you shouldn't need to get paid for the honor of being the number one supporter of your soldier. There is a spouse that started a facebook group about this, and people expecting to get paid just for being married is one of those things that gets me steamed.

Yes, the Military Wife life is hard, but what about the Firefighters wife? Cops Wife? EMT's wife? Boarder Patrol’s wife? Ok, their husbands are coming home after their shift to possibly help with kids and the regular household junk like homework, housework, balancing the checkbook, and bills.. They don’t have to deal with everything for months at a time without their spouse being there, but they deal with sending their husband’s out to various degrees of danger every day. They don’t get R&R, and they don’t have all of the resources that are available to military spouses. (Check out Military One Source, MWR, Family Life Counselors, Strong Bonds marriage retreats, CYS childcare during deployments, and the good things that have come out of our local Army Family Action Plans.) Their husbands don’t get any extra pay for going out into life threatening situations every day. Members of the military get “deployment pay” and even though it doesn’t always get paid on time, service members get paid to go to schools (TDY) for their specific jobs (MOS), most of the time.

Yes, we have to deal with “Military Intelligence”, (which is even more oxymoronic than “Jumbo Shrimp” more often than not) but why should you get a hand out from your government just because you think you have it harder than if you and your hubby went to work for Corporate America? Hmmm? Do you think that dealing with your husband’s boss and co-workers is any easier in the civilian world? If your husband is a manager, he might not have to go bail his worker out of jail, but he would be the one responsible for either covering the shift, or the one in trouble for not getting the shift covered. And do you realize that in this economy it is almost impossible to “fire” a soldier (unless he/she does something REALLY stupid) until his contract runs out. Some soldiers are even retained (Stop Loss) because they are just too valuable to the military. What other job offers you that kind of security?

And what about school? There are so many programs, especially for enlisted families, to help with both spouses and dependants (children) of military members get college degrees and certificates, it is overwhelming! The Army even helps your soldier go to college on their dime, if you are willing to do the paperwork, and get decent grades… It is like an Army scholarship, but different.

There are so many FREE programs that are offered to the military families. If you want to get something other than the love and respect of your husband and family, and the respect and admiration of so many other Americans, go to your post/base MWR office or to and find out what programs are offered near you.

If you want to get paid but don’t want to work for someone else, start a business from your home. So many spouses on post here at Ft. Wainwright have Pampered Chef, Avon, jewelry, candle, or other home-based businesses with web-based ordering, that we really need a directory of all these. Hmmm… Someone could publish one of those, and sell ads to make money, or they could have a web page that would list all these businesses in one space, and have people pay to be listed. Or you could give up the privilege of being a stay at home mom, and go get a job! That’s what most people that want to get paid do!

I am not going to apologize for my opinion about trying to get paid for doing nothing, or for thinking you deserve something for being in a certain demographic. I have been in a position where I could have gotten a government handout for just being me in the situation I put myself.

There are times when assistance is appropriate. If you are really in need, you don’t have a family or a church family that can help you get back up, if you don’t qualify for the emergency loans that the military offers, but you are trying to get back up out of a pit, and just cannot do it… YES! That is when you should get some help. But as hard as marriage can be, especially a military marriage, it doesn’t deserve a government stipend. If you looked at your situation, and took advantage of the programs around you, you would see that you are not doing anything that generations of women have been doing without the benefit of a paycheck.

This is totally my opinion as the proud daughter of a 30+ year Active Duty and Reserve Navy Veteran, the proud wife of an Active Duty Army NCO, AND a proud Homeschooling, stay at home Mom of a teenager. ( BTW- I don't get paid for any of the above.)

12 February 2010

My thoughts on Prayer

Ephesians 6:18-20 (KJV) 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Praying is not easy!

Everybody tells you a different way to pray, and if you are new to praying, you might not know what to say. Some people have memorized prayers that they say regularly. Other people pray in their own prayer language. Still others sing their prayers. I do not believe that any of these are wrong. I do believe that our “beliefs” make prayer very confusing.

I want to start off by saying that I am not a Biblical scholar. I am just an ordinary woman. I was brought up knowing who Jesus was, and going to various churches every week, but I did not really accept Jesus as my personal Savior until the Saturday before 9/11. God’s timing is perfect.

I prayed a prayer that invited the Holy Spirit into my heart, a prayer that marked me forever. I started my new life as a Christian with a very simple prayer, and it felt so good, I wanted to keep praying, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Like I said, I wasn’t a Biblical scholar, so I couldn’t quite understand what the Bible teaches about prayer, so I headed to the library. I started looking for books and articles about prayer, but the more I read, the more confused I got. There were so many opinions about which way is the right way to pray! There are even more books and articles now, so I am not really going to talk about the “how” here.

Jump ahead a few months… I started to work my new faith into my job as a children’s entertainer. It was pretty easy. I remember talking to the ministry clowns about this “Armor of God” thing they used to teach the kids. I found the section in Ephesians, and read, and read. I started practicing it, and the first time I went to perform it in church, something wonderful happened. I read the few verses after the Armor of God passage, and was floored. Paul wrote exactly what I needed to pray before I started my lesson.

Ephesians 6:18-20 (KJV) 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

WOW! This is what I had been looking for! It had it all!

I have read this scripture over and over many times throughout the past few years. I learned how to pray it and make it my own prayer request, but it really didn’t become clear until tonight when I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend, about making a list of the different places you can fit prayer into your day, that it all clicked. This passage really does have it all! The Holy Spirit had stirred it up in my soul, and just waited until my imperfect human brain could begin to comprehend it! God is Good!

Pray Constantly -

18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints

We are supposed to be doing it all the time?!? How are we supposed to function and be in constant prayer?!?

Well, I haven’t figured out how to not stop praying, but I have gotten some advice from a few different places that I have made my own, and I hope you do, too.

Find triggers for your prayer. We have all kinds of things that trigger other behaviors, and we are certainly smarter that Pavlov’s dog, so why can’t we choose our own bell? That way when the bell rings, our natural response is to pray. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer… just a sentence or two, but if we can train ourselves to think of God, and his people, when certain everyday things occur… wouldn’t that be AWE-some?

Remember others in your prayers. -

19And for me,

Paul specifically asked other Christians to pray for him! That means that it is expected that we pray for other people… in a way, it also shows us that it is ok to ask other people to pray for us, too.

Pray out loud.

…that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ok, there is a time when silent prayer is a good thing, but in this part of this scripture, it shows that we need to be bold. Do you grace the food as a family in a restaurant… aloud? Do you say, “Thank you, God!” and give Him the praise when something goes right during your day? Do you talk to other people about Jesus at all? (That is really a time that you want to be asking God to take over the conversation, right?)

Paul is showing us how to speak up and witness. He is showing us that we might not like the consequences of being bold in our faith, but that the right thing to do is to speak with the words that God wants us to use.

There are a lot of books that show the power of the spoken word. It helps people remember things, too. So maybe if you pray, out loud, for other people, all the time, you will remember to pray for other people all the time… no? Well, it sounded good the first time.

Pray wherever you are.

Top 10 Easy Places to Say a Quick Prayer

1. Before you get out of bed

and before you go to sleep

2. In the shower

3. While reading e-mail

4. While fixing a meal

5. While getting dressed

6. As you walk out the door and return home

7. At every stop light or stop sign

8. When you pay for something

9. When you answer the phone or door

10. When you hear someone call your name.

 Before you get out of bed and before you go to sleep

This one has been talked about by just about every Christian woman I know. Most of the strong Titus 2 role models, I look to for good example say that it is important to pray before your feet even touch the floor in the morning. It only stands to reason that you would want to thank God for helping you through your day before you go to sleep; I have heard these prayers called the bookends of your day.

An example for your morning prayer might be:

Dear Lord,

So far today, I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self indulgent.
However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that.

It sounds like a joke, but I know that’s how I feel every morning!

Then at the end of the day, as I am finally going to bed, I thank God that my family is home, safe, and sleeping.

 In the shower

This is a favorite place to pray for many of the mother’s I know. I usually don’t take a lot of time in the shower, so most of the time I just thank God that I live in a place that clean, running water is a normal condition. Sometimes, I pray for the women I know that are battling breast cancer when I do my monthly check, and I thank God for blessing me with the long hair that he has provided me with, as my covering.

 While reading e-mail

During the ’06-’08 deployment I prayed that my e-mails didn’t contain bad news, and that the spam would be blocked. Now I have started to pray for each person that sends me e-mail.

 While fixing a meal

This is one of my favorite times to praise God and give thanks for Him providing me with a husband, and for His providing my husband with a job that allows us to eat well balanced meals every day. I thank God for the food, and I ask Him to bless all the people that allowed the food to get to our kitchen.

 While getting dressed

Again, I thank God for providing me with a husband, and for His providing my husband with a job that allows us to have the clothes we need. I also thank Him for the home that He has provided for us.

 As you walk out the door and return home.

I read The Power of the Praying Wife a few years ago, and I keep the list of things to pray each day, for your husband, by the door. There is a different area to pray about each day, and the list is numbered, so I look at the number for that date, and say that prayer as I head to the car.

When I return home, I thank God for carrying me safely to and from wherever we went. I thank Him for keeping the house safe while we were gone, and ask Him to bless our home and keep us safe within it.

 At every stop light or stop sign

I use this time to pray for my husband. I started this after reading Created to Be His Help Meet a few years back. Not only does it dispel any chance of road rage or frantic feeling when I am running late, it also blesses my husband.

 When you pay for something

This is another time I Thank God for giving us the money to purchase all of the things we need and some of the things we want.

 When you answer the phone or door

Here, I pray that I only get good news, and that God would bless whomever is trying to reach me.

 When you hear someone call your name

Here again, I pray that I only get good news, and that God would bless whomever is trying to get my attention.

Ephesians 6:18-20 (KJV) 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

06 February 2010

Off to the races…well maybe another day…

Ok. I REALLY wanted to head downtown to see the start of the Yukon Quest this morning, but I guess my body wasn’t looking forward to standing out in the cold to watch 300 dogs run down the frozen river. Yes, I slept until 9:30 this morning. Yes, I know that the race started at 11am. While I can usually wake up and get ready in about an hour, I just wasn’t feeling it this morning. Coupled with the fact that I didn’t really know where I was supposed to go for parking or watching the start… I lived with the illusion that we could make it in time until about 10:30. I was still getting dressed. My husband came into our room, and I confessed to him that I was done trying to rush us out the door.
We have since decided that we are  going to head out today, but not to the races.
We have all gotten a lot of requests for pictures of our beautiful town, so we are going to go drive around town and take pictures. We are also going to take some pictures of the other member of the family, Monte. Monte is Darren’s vehicle, the 1995 Mitsubishi Montero that we acquired right before we left Fort Hood. Monte has had a lot of adventures with us. He brought us to the St.Lewis Arch, Mount Rushmore, carried us safely through Canada, and protected us as we followed an ATV trail down the back side of Birch Hill.
So look for some more pictures in the “Where’s Monte?” folder on my facebook profile.

05 February 2010

Knocked Down Again!

Have you ever noticed that as we get older and busier, we forget to notice the friends from the past that have gotten us through the hard times? I was noticing that today. I have had two incredibly bad days in a row, and just when I thought it was getting better… WHAM!!!! Knocked down again!
I was thinking about the times when I have been knocked down before, and who was there to give me a hand getting back on my feet. First there was my parents, when I was little, my parents were there to help me stand and walk. In grade school I had a couple of girlfriends that sometimes helped me, and sometimes helped me get into trouble. Even more, friends and trouble, awaited me in high school and college. But I could not really count on these people to be there all the time and in all situations.
I have grown up some since then, and although I don’t find as much trouble as I have found friends, there is still not one person that is truly there for me all the time. Not one person! But I have found that there is something that I can always  reach out to when I need a hand getting back on my feet.
I am certainly a different person than I was when my parents held my hands as I took my first steps. I am taller, more experienced, and I weigh a little more than I did when I was a baby. They don’t hold my hand every step I take. I still call them sometimes when I am having problems getting out of a pit. But they are not my most faithful friend.
I have two fantastic “Battle Buddies" that survived the ‘06 –‘08 deployment with me. They are the first people, besides my family, to know of anything major happening in my life, but they are not my most faithful friend.
Some of the girlfriends that helped me find trouble probably wouldn’t recognize the person I have become. I have a hard time recognizing the person that I was. And I have my most true friend to thank for that.
I have found myself talking to my friend a lot the past two days. I keep reaching out to the best friend I have ever had. He has been there for me, even before I was born. My friend, Jesus, has been there, and He has lifted me up again and again, even when I didn’t reach out to Him. I have learned to lean on Him, because He is, was, and always will be there for me. Jesus is my most faithful friend.
Yes, I have been knocked down, over and over again the past two days. I have even felt like I have been kicked by some of my friends while I have been down the past two days. But when I remembered to get on my knees while I was down there… my Best Friend reached down and helped me get back on my feet again.

04 February 2010

I'm just sayin'...

Got this in an e-mail...
"Let's see here. I need to shower, shave, eat some oatmeal (it keeps my cholesterol down), put on my new 'Obama: Change we can believe in" T-shirt', grab my 9 and a few rounds, hold up a convenience store, and then go buy some crack..

New Fashion Rage In Police Mug Shots, These are actual Police Photos.

Just think about this for a second: Did you ever see anyone arrested wearing a Bush T-shirt, or for you older guys, an Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, or even Nixon, or Bob Dole shirt..

There MUST be a message here, but I can't quite grasp it. Maybe you can help me out here...

02 February 2010

24 January 2010

20 January 2010

What are we to do with our faith?

So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

~ James 2:17, NLT

19 January 2010

January 2010 Home School Weekly Activities Schedule

Activities will be held weekdays 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Youth Center.

There is no cost for these activities. Pre-registration is not required.

Call 353-9377 for more information.

Wednesday, January 20
Fit Kids Find out what it takes to get in shape and have fun being physically active!
Led by Mr. Jerome , Assistant Sports Director.

Friday, January 29
Window Art Create transparent paintings on plexi-glass.
Led by Ms. Joan, School Liaison Specialist.

15 January 2010

Chapel Skating Event

Found the Flicker link for the pictures that Sheryl took at the Ice Skating Party.

12 January 2010

AFAP Delegate Volunteer

Hey there!
Posting for my friend Joan, again!

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: FOUO

Dear Home School families,

Please pass this along to any Army-connected 12 to 17-year olds who may be interested in submitting issues or volunteering. A number of home schooled youth volunteers are needed to be AFAP delegates.

This year the Army Family Action Plan will hold a separate one-day session for youth at the Youth Center. On February 16, 8-4:30, the youth volunteers (home schooled and others) will work together on teams with adult facilitators to come up with issues to be presented to the Garrison Commander.

If there's anything you'd like to see changed on Fort Wainwright, this is your chance to voice your opinion. This is also a great opportunity to see how this process works.

Please see the attached (call Joan to get the forms, please!) AFAP Delegate Volunteer position description for the details of the job. I've also attached an issue sheet, which anyone can submit, whether or not they are a delegate.

You can contact Dana Wihite to submit the issue sheet or if you're interested in being a delegate. Her contact info is on both sheets.

Joan Smith York

CYSS Specialist (School Liaison)

Child, Youth, & School Services

Fort Wainwright, Alaska

phone: (907) 353-9377

11 January 2010

Homeschool Activities on Ft. Wainwright this week

I am posting this for my friend Joan. The attendance has been very low. This semester we have riding at this time, and if you know this family, horses (both 4 legged and iron) come before most other activities.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

I thought I'd start sending out a weekly reminder. This week's home school
activity will be:

Tuesday, January 12 Fun with Robotics Learn to control roboraptors and
robopets, then test your skills. Led by Mr. Terry, Functional Technology

Hope to see some of you there. Below is more info and the schedule for the
rest of January.

January 2010 Home School Weekly Activities Schedule
Activities will be held weekdays 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Youth Center.
There is no cost for these activities. Pre-registration is not required.
Call 353-9377 for more information.

Tuesday, January 12 Fun with Robotics Learn to control roboraptors and
robopets, then test your skills. Led by Mr. Terry, Functional Technology

Wednesday, January 20 Fit Kids Find out what it takes to get in shape
and have fun being physically active! Led by Mr. Jerome , Assistant Sports

Friday, January 29 Window Art Create transparent paintings on
plexi-glass. Led by Ms. Joan, School Liaison Specialist.

Joan Smith York
CYSS Specialist (School Liaison)
Child, Youth, & School Services
Fort Wainwright, Alaska
phone: (907) 353-9377

09 January 2010

Because He Lives

What a GREAT song! And what an AWEsome performance! The wall of voices!

08 January 2010

Ice Skating Canceled

Dear friends,

Unfortunately, since the temperature dropped, I am going to have to cancel the home school ice skating activity for today. I had set the cut off temperature at -10 and it is -18. Next week's activity is indoors, so there shouldn't be a problem. I have ice skating scheduled again for February 5th, so hopefully the weather will cooperate then.

FYI, the Youth Center is offering Family Skate on Saturdays from 1-2:30.

Also, the PFC has open skate on Fridays 5:30-7:45 but they do charge for skate rentals (0-$3, depending on age).

Joan Smith York

CYSS Specialist (School Liaison)

Child, Youth, & School Services

Fort Wainwright, Alaska

phone: (907) 353-9377

06 January 2010

1 Corinthians 7:34

34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Any comments?

04 January 2010

With your Whole Heart

The Praise & Worship Connection's WEEKLY PRAISE & WORSHIP QUOTABLES:

Week 1 - "Regardless of how magnificent the musical moment are, unless your heart is fully engaged in the worship being expressed is still only music."- Darlene Zschech

Home School Weekly Activities Schedule

Activities will be held weekdays 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Youth Center.

There is no cost for these activities. Pre-registration is not required.

Friday, January 8

Ice Skating Learn to skate or practice your skills. Skates provided, although the smallest size is 5. Rink is outside, so this activity is weather permitting (-10 and above) and requires warm gear.

Tuesday, January 12

Fun with Robotics Learn to control roboraptors and robopets, then test your skills. Led by Mr. Terry, Functional Technology Specialist.

Wednesday, January 20

Fit Kids Find out what it takes to get in shape and have fun being physically active! Led by Mr. Jerome , Assistant Sports Director.

Friday, January 29

Window Art Create transparent paintings on plexi-glass. Led by Ms. Joan, School Liaison Specialist.